It’s time for some good news, don’t you think? Here’s how the current economic situation is maybe―just maybe―changing your life for the better.

By Kristin Appenbrink
Updated June 10, 2009
Bob Hiemstra

1. You’re eating in more often. Eighty-five percent of Americans now eat at least three meals a week at home, compared with 75 percent three years ago. And when you cook your own meals, you spend more time with your family and reap health benefits as you “relearn portion sizes and use fresh ingredients,” says Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University.

2. You’re rethinking your career. Getting laid off is scary, but career advisers say many of their clients are finding this is just the kick in the pants they need to try a new industry, take a class, or start a business. Indeed, a forced career change can be a good thing. Harry S Truman jumped into politics after the clothing store he ran went bankrupt.

3. You’re saving more and spending less. People are learning to live within their means and are now putting away about 4 percent of their income, compared with basically nothing just a year ago.

4. You’re shopping smarter and greener. Consumers are buying less and opting for used and recycled goods more often. Resale-store sales are up about 34 percent over last year.

5. And―surprise―some industries are booming. It seems people are escaping the grim news with books and movies. sales were up 18 percent in the first quarter of 2009, and Netflix gained 25 percent more subscribers in the past year.